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Asterina miniata

(Bat Star)


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Common Names

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Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in Dutch:

Patiria chilensis

Common Names in English:

Bat Star, Broad-Disk Star, Sea Bat, Webbed Star

Common Names in Spanish, Castilian:

Patiria chilensis


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Physical Description

Species Asterina miniata

This star has 5 (varies from 4-9) short rays , webbed between. The central disk is wider than the rays are long. There are no conspicuous marginal plates along the edges of the rays. The gritty aboral surface is covered with flattened, crescent-shaped ossicles with their concave sides oriented toward the center of the disk and arranged in concentric clusters , giving it a sandpaperlike texture . No pedicellariae. (Ref. 109953)


Color of aboral surface highly variable: orange (picture), red, purplish, brown, dark gray, yellow, or green (usually all one color or mottled ). [1]


Diameter to 20 cm.[1]


Rocky intertidal, especially near surfgrass, algae, sponges, and bryozoans . Low intertidal to 290 m. [1]

Typically found in the intertidal zone at the water's edge at a mean distance from sea level of 79.07 meters (259.42 feet).[2]

Biome: Coastal.

Ecology: Most animals which avoid other seastars have little response to this species, except for the nudibranch Dendronotus iris, which may swim away. Individuals may combat one another if they meet, including pushing, placing a ray over the opponent. May have several individuals of the commensal polychaete worm Ophiodromus pugettensis living on the oral surface or in the ambulacral grooves . This species is often used for developmental studies because ripe individuals can be found throughout the year.[1]


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An omnivore and scavenger , feeds mainly on surfgrass. Diet also includes algae, sponges, bryozoans , and colonial tunicates , plus organic films on rocks. It cannot open clams. Feeds by everting its stomach, which it may even evert to gather particles from the water.[1]


Spawn at least from May to July but ripe individuals can be found throughout the year.[1]


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Patiria miniata


Name Status: Accepted Name .

Last scrutiny: 27-Dec-2004

Similar Species

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Mediaster aequalis has large marginal plates. Pteraster tesselatus has an aboral surface lined with soft tissue and secretes copious slime. Dermasterias imbricata has a smooth aboral surface and is reddish-brown with gray or purple. (Ref. 109953)

Members of the genus Asterina

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 3 species and subspecies in this genus:

A. folium (Common Blunt Armed Sea Star) · A. hartmeyeri (Hartmeter's Blunt Armed Sea Star) · A. miniata (Bat Star)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal February 01, 2008:



  1. Cowles, Dave. Key to Invertebrates Found At or Near The Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory (a campus of Walla Walla University) Fidalgo Island, Anacortes, WA May 2009. [back]
  2. Standard Deviation = 146.860 based on 90 observations. Terrestrial altitude and ocean depth information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]
Last Revised: 2014-11-20